Current Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BFGoodrich® Tires point leader Connor Zilisch (No. 72 Hixon Motor Sports) battled to the front from fifth on the grid to win Saturday’s Round Five race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. He was followed across the line less than a half-second ahead of reigning series champion Jared Thomas (No. 96 JTR Motorsports Engineering), with now-local driver Aaron Jeansonne coming home third to continue his strong start to the 2023 season.
The racing was as hot as the track surface for the latest Mazda MX-5 Cup event. Polesitter Gresham Wagner (No. 5 Spark Performance) was immediately feeling the pressure from Thomas, who had a great start.
It was ultimately Zilisch who would be Wagner’s undoing though. The 2022 MX-5 Cup Rookie of the Year went from fifth to second in four laps and by lap six, he was around Wagner and into the lead.
A full-course caution to get a car out of the Turn 11 gravel trap bunched the field back up, but nobody could beat Zilisch on the restart. From there, Zilisch was able to pull out a comfortable lead as the battle for the other two podium spots raged on. A long green-flag run developed and Thomas eventually got clear of the pack and comfortably on his own in second.
In typical MX-5 Cup fashion, it was impossible to keep up with the position changes happening for third through fifth. Wagner, Jeansonne and Selin Rollan (No. 87 Hixon Motor Sports) pounced on every opportunity to get by each other.
Read the full article at MazdaMotorsports.com